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Recognizing Extraordinary Service: UPA Announces New Awards

June 10, 2005

This year, UPA begins formally honoring those who contribute in special ways to UPA and to the profession. Recognition by a professional association is an important way to acknowledge both individual and chapter achievements, and to publicize the best projects we undertake.

  • For professionals who donate their time and expertise to industry projects, it is a way of making a public statement about the value of that work
  • For chapter leaders, it is a way for us to reward the hard work of building local communities.
  • For the profession as a whole, recognitions are also a way to generate public awareness outside of our immediate organization, in a way that that highlights both the individuals and the organization

This year, the UPA Board of Directors selected four individuals and two chapters to recognize for their contributions to UPA and our work in supporting usability professionals and in advocating for usability. They will all be recognized during the opening session of the UPA 2005 conference in Montreal.

The President’s Award

Twice in the past, the President of UPA has chosen to give special honors to an individual whose work has been important in furthering both the organization and usability in general.

This year, we honor Charlie Kreitzberg for his contributions in launching User Experience, the UPA magazine, and his work as Editor-in-Chief. Both within UPA and in his work as President of his company Cognetics Corporation, he has been a tireless advocate for the value of usability. User Experience has, since its beginnings, been a high quality magazine with elegant design and substantive contents. Charlie’s editorials often caught an idea and gave it a unique perspective. He will continue to work with UX as a book reviewer, and we expect to continue to provide thought-provoking viewpoints in his writing.

Past recipients of President’s Awards are:

  • Janice James, the founder of UPA was the first recipient of a President’s Award. She not only led the organization from its founding in 1992 to 1997, but she has remained an active leader. She led the drive to form local chapters and continues her work in mentoring chapter leaders and helping new chapters organize.
  • Ginny Redish was honored, along with Margot Steinberg, for their work to modernize the finances of the association. This is unglamorous work, done behind the scenes, but it was critical in helping UPA mature and continue to develop.

Chapter Recognition

This award recognizes chapters for sustained exceptional activities. Whether they have held a new conference, shown significant growth in UPA members in their area, or starting a new collaborative initiative, the work of chapters in creating local visibility for UPA cannot be underestimated. For 2005, we honor two of our oldest chapters with the Chapter Award.

  • UPA Boston has sustained a large and diverse membership with strong local activities and networking. It was one of the first chapters to hold a local conference, and this year was its 5th annual conference.
  • UK UPA has had continued success in increasing membership, growing to over 350 members this year. To meet the challenge of a growing membership, the chapter now hosts local meetings in many parts of the UK including London, Bristol, Cambridge and Manchester, as well as a strong relationship with the UPA Scotland chapter.

UPA Volunteer Recognition

Organizations thrive on the work of “unsung heroes” who put in extra effort to start, revitalize or sustain UPA activities. They often devote extraordinary effort, beyond normal volunteer work, whether on a specific project or in a general sustained effort.

This year, we honor three people with the Usability Service Award. One for their ongoing contribution to the community, the other two for their professionalism and energy in working on UPA publications.

  • Chauncey Wilson has been our mentor, our librarian (with his fabulous collection of resource references) and our colleague. He has long been a volunteer stalwart, creating the Advanced Topics Track at the conference, among many other activities. As the current president of the Boston Chapter, he has created many innovative experiments in chapter activities, including new scholarships and online self-study groups.
  • Susan Fowler and Alice Preston for their work on User Experience magazine. They took on the work of the Managing Director as the publication moved to a full quarterly schedule. They have streamlined the editorial process, and worked with new Editor-in-Chief Aaron Marcus to bring new members of the expanded editorial board online.

Carrying the Recognitions Programs into the Future

For 2005, the UPA Board of Directors selected the recipients of the awards as a collaborative process. For the future, we will create a formal set of selecting criteria, and an open nominations process for potential recipients.

The Usability Professionals' Association is an international, non-profit, professional association with more than 2000 members in the US and 35 other countries. Members are specialists in evaluating and designing products that are easy to learn and use. The organization provides its members with a wide variety of professional services. Through outreach the UPA:

  • Shares information about the skills and approach of usability professionals in meeting needs for usable products.
  • Acts as an advocate for usability in consumer, corporate and governmental software, products and web sites.
  • Educates the general public about the usability.

For more information, contact:

The Usability Professionals' Association
140 N. Bloomingdale Rd.
Bloomingdale, IL 60108-1017
email: office@upassoc.org
web: http://www.usabilityprofessionals.org

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